Nestle denies allegations, says it is always in compliance with all laws & regulations including law that protects & promotes breastfeeding.
New Delhi: The Indian arm of Swiss food giant Nestle has come under the scanner for allegedly sponsoring research in five Indian hospitals in violation of a law that protects and promotes breastfeeding, six months after it was scrutinised for a similar transgression.
Following a complaint by NGO Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI), the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has alerted the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex body to conduct medical research, to “examine the matter and take necessary actions”.
In a letter dated 2 August, health secretary Preeti Sudan instructed ICMR director general Balram Bhargava to “ensure that all trials in future are screened for any infringement of IMS Act”. ThePrint has seen a copy of the letter.
In India, the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act, also known as the IMS Act, prohibits direct and indirect sponsorship of health workers by product manufacturers.
It also bars financial inducements, pecuniary benefit, and funding of seminars, educational courses, contests, fellowships or research for health workers by companies manufacturing baby products listed under the IMS Act.
Nestle denied the allegations and said it is “always in compliance with all laws and regulations including IMS Act”.
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